Welcome


Bio

I'm a trance music producer and programmer from Sydney, Australia. Composing and mixing has been a long time hobby, and will be for a long time yet! I first started playing around with music composition at 2001, but really got into it from around 2004. Since then I've been on and off, mixing a few tracks once in a while.

My main genre is trance, more specifically classic / progressive trance. Sometimes I compose some classical / soundtrack / cinematic stuff, good for practicing musical composing skills.

Photo of me, Xi Chen

I'm currently doing a Bachelor of Science(Honours), Computer Science at the University of New South Wales. I have done an internship with Google Sydney, working on the maps team. I am currently working at National ICT Australia on the Software Systems Research Group.

Gear

Almost all my mixing is done in software with FL Studio 10 Producer Edition. I first picked up Fruityloops 3.5 many years ago, after hearing the startup demo song, which was a shortened version of Toby Emerson's Raindrops. I don't use much hardware or recording equipment.

I've been moving more and more of my mastering to Pro Tools 8 LE, after falling in love with its compressor plugin. Has a nice mixing / recording interface, comes with some very high quality plug-ins and epic audio editing functionality. MIDI composition and drum sequencing is still quite lacking in Pro Tools 8 though.

I run an Intel i5 760 Quad, through a MBox3 Mini USB interface connected to a Carillon X6 mixer connected to headphones and a pair of Yamaha HS50M reference monitors plus a Logitech subwoofer. For headphones, I use a pair of Sennheiser HD650s. I also have a pair of Sennheiser HD280 Pros, (nice entry level closed flat response studio monitoring circumaurals, recommend them!) and Sennheiser HD201s. Also, sometimes I plug in a MIDI keyboard or two and press notes. That's about it for hardware equipment.

Influences

Toby Emerson - my primary influence, it's old Toby that got me into the Trance genre at first.

Gareth Emery - this guys gaining a lot of popularity really really quick. He mixes in a wierd housey style though.

Ron van den Beuken - old school trance producer. He topped dutch dance charts for a damn good while. Had him on MSN too!

Sector 7 - was one of the few good bands on SoundClick, back then years ago.

RikiB - Rich bass, catchy chords, very high quality pads, this guy influenced me quite a lot, especially on my pads and breaks.

Oneilio - Patrick O'neil, who was very good with composition. I think he's working now as a film/media music scorer after attending some music academy somewhere.

Musicianship

Most of my musicianship is composition experience. I play a small bit of piano, but haven't really learnt any instrument formally.

In both composition and music preference, I have a very strong bias towards homophony, specifically seem to love ones with a dominating melody. This reflects my style in composition, whether I'm mixing a trance track or composing a song. While I don't like too much dissonance or chromatism, using it right at the right times can really brighten things up.

Audio Engineering

This has definitely been the most obscure and challenging thing to learn. I'm very much lopsided and specialised in mixing and mastering, specifically in electronic dance music. The field however, goes far beyond just that; everything from recording to audiovisual design to acoustics.

Most of my mixing has been self-taught, joining an online community called TEFO/SiFon (TEFO died and everybody went to SiFon instead). We were a pretty close bunch, the more experienced taught the newbies, made tutorials for what they were good at doing, peer reviewed each other's work...etc. Most of us have either kept production has a hobby, got signed and producing music, getting signed and about to start producing music, working as DJs, or have since given up on it all together.

In 2010, I enrolled in Sound Media 2, a second level course at the College Of Fine Arts (COFA), University of New South Wales. This has helped me a lot, and finally gave me both some formal training and some sort of qualification. I also learnt a lot about the other branches of the field I was not so familiar with, for example studio recording. In 2012 I did Sound Media 3, which extended my knowledge and experience on mixing and mastering.

A (unfortunate) side effect of coming from a computing background also means I seem to know some of the low-level stuff; from filters to harmonics to frequency spectrums to how synthesisers work. I seem to know a bit more DSP than I'd like to know.

HyperNewbie

Promote your Page too